Acupuncture plays an important role in traditional Chinese medicine, and it is a widely recognized part of Western medicine as well. It has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of depression, ease the pain of arthritis, reduce the incidence of migraine, and now it is becoming more common in the treatment of infertility.
For decades, couples have turned to high tech medical treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and drugs like Clomid, but acupuncture is surging in popularity due to not only its more holistic treatment of infertility, but also its high success rate.
Acupuncture can help women with a wide variety of fertility troubles. It works primarily by stimulating pelvic blood flow, restoring the proper flow of Qi, and balancing the body. Women with irregular menstrual cycles or amenorrhea (no menstrual cycles), endometriosis, luteal phase defect, irregular ovulation, thin endometrium, or even recurrent miscarriage can benefit from acupuncture.
Acupuncture can stimulate ovulation as much as some fertility drugs, making it an excellent option for women who are suffering from irregular ovulation or anovulatory cycles. Women with poor egg quality may also benefit from acupuncture, as pelvic blood flow is restored and egg quality can be improved by better nourishment. Women with unexplained infertility may especially benefit from acupuncture.
Women are not the only ones who can benefit from acupuncture. Studies show that men with low sperm counts or low sperm motility can have both improved with acupuncture. A higher sperm count and more active sperm can make it easier for couples to get pregnant naturally or via IVF.
Acupuncture can be used alone in the treatment of infertility or in conjunction with more high-tech infertility treatments. In fact, beginning acupuncture prior to IVF treatments can lead to a higher success rate, according to a study published in Fertility and Sterility.
Some people may not be good candidates for this treatment alone: women with structural abnormalities, scarring of the fallopian tubes, or who have aging eggs may need to use acupuncture in conjunction with other infertility treatments (such as surgery or IVF) for the best possible results.
Acupuncture is not simply an alternative medical treatment for infertility; it is a holistic natural treatment that can be used on its own to assist couples in attaining pregnancy, to address infertility issues, or to be used in conjunction with high tech infertility treatments. Acupuncture treatment for infertility seeks to treat the root cause of the problem, not merely the symptom.